It’s always refreshing when big name companies do it the good old fashioned way… even if that’s just the way it looks. Such is the case with Disney’s recent Oscar-Nominated Short, Paperman. Just released on the internet for all to enjoy, the 6 minute romantic comedy has a simply charming plot which could get many people swept away with the joy of young love… and maybe even challenge some to leave their mind-numbing jobs for it. The mid-century New York based film would stand on its own with this fact alone, but the film also uses a “groundbreaking” new technique to seamlessly merge the accuracy of computer-generated animation with the old school charm of hand-drawn animation.[see_also]
Using an in-house technology called Meander, animators on the film were able to work much more closely with each other than on normal hand-drawn animations, while at the same time having much more control over the final product. In essence they were able to use hand-drawn and CG animation to varying degrees throughout the short without a noticeable change in style when that change occurred. First-time director John Kahrs described the inspiration for the technique this way: “We brought together as best we could the expressiveness of 2D drawing immersed with the stability and dimensionality of CG. It really goes back to working with Glen Keane on Tangled, watching him draw over all the images.” Check out the short below, just released for all to enjoy.